Pakistan mulls over revision of civil servants’ retirement age

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the Ministry of Finance to find ways to revise service structure of civil servants by increasing retirement age of competent officials and an early retirement of dead wood.

According to current service structure, the superannuation age of Pakistani civil servants is 60 years old and it is believed that there is a room for enhancing the retirement age by at least three years with an average life expectancy of 69 years in the country, Xinhua news agency reported citing the local media on Friday.

All civil servants retire at 60 regardless of their performance in their respective departments, unlike the country’s armed forces where an officer or soldier has to retire if he fails to get promotion, based on performance.

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Khan wants the Ministry to evaluate legal, financial and administrative implications of increasing the age of retirement and early retirement after due consultation with concerned departments, the Express Tribune reported.

The Prime Minister’s new plan can transform bureaucratic structure of Pakistan, but at the same time, the proposal of an early retirement of dead wood is likely to face criticism from the powerful bureaucracy and their supporters in opposition parties which may lead to failure of the revision.

A change in retirement age limit would require an amendment in the Civil Service Act in the Constitution and the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government led by Khan does not have majority in the upper house of the Parliament to get any bill passed.

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The idea of restructuring the civil service was initially floated by the Task Force on Institutional Reforms, working under the Prime Minister, as they believe that there is a need to increase the superannuation age as the minimum age to enter civil service has been increased from 28 years to 30 years by the previous government.

The opponents of the increase in superannuation age said that the move would increase unemployment in the country due to growing young population, the report said.

It is not for the first time that a government has proposed increase the retirement age in the country. Earlier, Pakistan Peoples Party government also reviewed the possibility but eventually dropped the plan.


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